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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Enda Cunningham

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Charles Haughey, Minister for Finance, lays a wreath at the statue of Liam Mellowes in Eyre Square in Galway in Easter 1969, watched by an attendance including members of the Old IRA who served with Liam Mellowes during the 1916 Rising.

1918

Prominent Sinn Féiner arrested

On Thursday morning, Mr. Lawrence Lardner, Athenry, was arrested and conveyed to Galway, and charged before Mr. J. Kilbride, R.M., with illegal drilling at Athenry on March 16 and 17.

Head-Constable Sweeney, Athenry, verified an information in which he stated that at 8.50p.m. on March 16, he was on duty at Athenry railway station, accompanied by Constable Burke, and he saw some eighty Volunteers lined up in two ranks on the platform. Lawrence Lardner, who was in charge of them, gave the command “left turn”, “quick march”.

Witness went up to him and asked him was he drilling the party. Accused replied “I am”. Witness told him he was acting illegally. Accused said “I do not think it is illegal” and marched them into the main road when he gave the command “halt”, “form fours”, “quick march”.

He then brought them to Murphy’s Hotel, where they were halted, and addressed by Frank Fahy, who came from Dublin by train. After the address, accused gave the command “Battalion”, “right turn”, dismiss”.

On St. Patrick’s Day, witness saw accused wearing a Volunteer uniform and in charge of the Volunteer contingents who attended the Sinn Féin demonstration at Athenry. After the meeting, he marched some of the contingents to Murphy’s Hotel, where he gave the command “halt”, “left turn”, “dress up”. He afterwards took out a whistle on which he sounded a long call as a signal for the contingents to be dismissed by their commandants.

Accused declined to cross-examine, and, on refusing to give bail, was remanded in custody for eight days.

1943

Air raid exercised

High officers from Civil Defence Headquarters in Dublin were keenly interested spectators of A.R.P. work in connection with air raid exercises which took place in Galway and Salthill last Sunday. The object of their visit was to ascertain at first hand the state of preparedness here, and we understand that at a meeting of the coordination committee, they expressed considerable satisfaction at what they had seen. The siren car set out on its warning rounds at 2.15pm, and promptly at 3pm, a high explosive bomb dropped on the East side of Eyre Square, wrecking that popular hostelry, Bailey’s Hotel, and adjoining houses and rendering twenty people homeless.

There were a number of casualties and some unfortunate people were trapped in the debris, their rescue being made more difficult by an outbreak of fire in the ruins. A huge bomb crater was created in the street and live electric cables which had been flung down, increased the danger for all concerned.

Of course, the onlookers saw nothing of all this. To their uninformed eyes, the East side of the Square was just the same after the bomb fell as it was before that incident. Instead of being trapped in the debris, the occupants of the adjacent houses were standing at their windows, viewing the operations. Only a great circle chalked in the roadway marked the “crater”.

But when the defence organisations hastened to the scene, it was very different. The L.S.F. took charge of the street and cordoned off the danger zone; rescue and demolition squads dashed up in their lorry, and the firefighters also made a swift appearance, while the first-aid workers attended to the casualties and placed the hospital cases in ambulances. There were two other “incidents” at the Fish Market and in the vicinity of Salthill Post Office.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

 

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Participants in the Eucharistic Procession pass through Eyre Square on June 20, 1965.

1920

Unparalleled turmoil

Even the long and tear-stained history of Ireland can find no parallel for the terrible happenings of the present week. Nearly forty people have come to violent and sudden deaths.

Sunday’s tragedies in the Irish capital and the sequel at Croke Park might well drive men who hope for, and long for, peace to utter despair. But courage is the quality that is required to-day, not despair – moral courage to point the path to peace and just dealing between man and man.

We live in the twentieth century of civilisation – though the surge of horrors that surround us might make it difficult to realise that fact – and God is in heaven. His Commandments still hold, though some of his people may forget them for a time. It is the duty of all men in authority to recall them so that the terrible passions of our time may subside and that a Godly peace may once more be promoted in our midst.

The tragedy of Father Griffin’s death stuck us more nearly than anything that has happened even in these days of horror. He was God’s anointed, the servant of the Prince of Peace. By the tradition and practice that governs all Christian peoples, he should stand as a man apart from the vengeful passions of the multitude.

During the recent riots in Londonderry, the one fact that lit up a sordid picture with a flame of light was that the violent mobs on both sides held their fire whilst the priests crept out from the side of the streets to succour the wounded, to console the dying.

And Fr. Griffin dwelt amongst us for two years. The little children of our streets knew him, and in many respects he was like unto one of these. All life lay before him in the most sacred, if not most responsible calling, that man can enter.

This was the man of whom the ghastliest story since the days of Cromwell has to be told. All who have hearts have been touched, all who have tears have shed them by his bier.

The funeral

Amidst scenes of most profound public sympathy and inspiring devotional expressiveness the remains of the late Rev. Michael Griffin were solemnly laid to rest beneath the shadow of the eastern wing of the Cathedral in Loughrea on Wednesday.

That feeling most intense has been aroused all over the county by the shocking tragedy was painfully in evidence. Nothing that has ever happened in the county in modern times has wounded the public conscience in such a way.

Popular to a degree, the deceased young priest was a man of much promise, full of personal charm and affability. The events of Wednesday will live long in the history of his native diocese. The position of his last resting place is one which must always attract the notice of the visitor.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

A view of Galway City captured from atop Galway Fire Station in 1979, taking in Wolfe Tone Bridge and some of Fish Market Square. The site of McDonogh's Fertilizers is now home to Jury's Hotel, while there have also been significant changes to the buidings on Quay Lane over the years.

1920

Workers for peace

English Labour, which appears to have found itself as impotent in the face of the mechanical Coalition majority at Westminster as the Irish Party found itself against Carsonism in the days of the Curragh revolt, has at last been afforded an opening towards making an effective bid for peace with Ireland.

The Irish Trades’ Congress this week accepted the British workers’ conditions of settlement, and noted that their teams, unlike those of British Ministers, leave no loopholes and are devoid of ambiguity.

Briefly, the British workers suggest that the present campaign of militarism against the Irish people should end; that a constituent Irish assembly should be elected by proportional representation, and that it should devise a constitution subject only to the safeguards of minorities and the naval and military interests of the British Empire.

It is a significant advance that democracies on each side of the Irish Sea find themselves not merely in agreement as to the methods by which peace may be brought about, but ready to translate these methods to action if the opportunity is given.

Older politicians, however, will not fail to register the initial criticism that when British parties are out of power, they are always ready to extend the hand of friendship to Ireland and to back up the gesture with promises that they cannot at the moment fulfil.

Witness to the case of Mr. Asquith who as Prime Minister in 1914 gave the lead in the doctrine that the Irish minority must continue to rule the majority and in 1920 when he is out of power, pours his anathemas upon his successors for carrying his policy to its logical outcome.

Nevertheless, we have not lost faith in a constitutional settlement. It must be obvious to all sane thinkers that sooner or later peace will have to be brought about by negotiation. The sword can never produce a settlement; only those who would recklessly ignore the lessons of history could hold with the doctrine that force can remedy a situation that has become intolerable.

There is a strong will to peace in Ireland to-day, and it is clear that the cumulative effect of the limited publicity that has been gained from present-day conditions in Ireland is having its effect upon English opinion.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Over 100 locals had roles as extras in the production of The Quiet Man which was filmed at locations in Galway and Mayo, including Ballyglunin and Cong.

1920

Kitchen flogging

One of the most singular cases of flogging yet recorded occurred in Tuam on Saturday night (writes our North Galway representative).

About 11 p.m. a number of men with revolvers knocked at the house of Mr. Pk. Canavan, town clerk, Foster-place, and, finding the door open, rushed into the house.

Mr. Martin Canavan and some young men lodging in the house were sitting in the dining-room, and were about to retire for the night. Mrs. Canavan and her children were in bed.

According to an eye-witness’s account of the affair, there were fourteen or fifteen men in the raiding party. Some were dressed in overcoats and soft hats, and some wore Glengarry caps.

They ordered all in the room to put up their hands, and asked if the house was Cooney’s. Mr. Canavan said Cooney’s house was next door. He and the others were then searched, and a young man named McDonnell, a draper’s assistant was asked if he was a Sinn Féiner.

He said he had nothing to do with Sinn Féin. Then he was asked, “what about your confederates,” and he said he had no confederates. Two private letters from a sister and a brother were taken from him and read, but it does not appear that there was any references in the letters to anything political.

Mr McDonnell was taken out to the kitchen, stripped, and put across a sewing machine, and flogged with leather straps and buckles for about twenty minutes.

Mrs. Canavan came down to inquire what was wrong. She and Mr. Canavan protested against the treatment of Mr. McDonnell, a young man who had no act or part in politics.

She was ordered back upstairs. Her children screamed with fright. Those in the dining-room were asked “on their honour” if they had any gun or revolvers in the house, and on their stating that they had not, they were told to sit down. On leaving, the leader of the party turned back and bade them “good night.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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